White House Announces New Sanctions to Combat Illicit Synthetic Drug Trade Amid Rising Tensions with Mexico

White House Announces New Sanctions to Combat Illicit Synthetic Drug Trade Amid Rising Tensions with Mexico

The White House has announced a series of new sanctions aimed at combating the illicit synthetic drug trade, in an effort to develop a global coalition against it. The move follows increasing pressure on President Joe Biden's administration from lawmakers who argue that not enough is being done to stem the tide of drugs flowing from Mexico.

These measures coincide with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and members of his security cabinet planning a meeting with U.S. officials this week about fentanyl and arms trafficking. As tensions between neighboring countries rise, prominent Republicans have called for bombing drug cartels in Mexico as a solution, while former President Donald Trump suggested sending "special forces" and employing "cyber warfare" to target cartel leaders.

To counter these claims, the White House released a fact sheet detailing steps they plan to take in order to tackle the massive increase in illicit drug smuggling from Mexico. According to data provided by DEA and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), 14,700 pounds of fentanyl-laced pills were seized during the last fiscal year alone.

Some Republicans insist on military action within Mexico as an answer for stopping deadly fentanyl influxes into the country. Meanwhile, Democrats blame their counterparts for exacerbating the problem further by refusing cooperation with federal law enforcement agencies tasked with curbing this issue.

In response, Biden's administration has proposed five actions specifically targeting fentanyl supply chains: leading coordinated efforts internationally; disrupting illegal synthetic drug trades; permanently classifying fentanyl-related substances as Schedule I under federal law; strengthening coordination among southern border law enforcement agencies; partnering globally while leveraging private sector resources toward increased financial sanctions against traffickers.

"The current situation is unacceptable," said John Brownsmith III, National Security Advisor for President Biden. "We must act swiftly and decisively if we are going to turn back this tidal wave of illicit drugs before it engulfs our nation."

While the DEA has already designated nearly 100 individuals and entities for involvement in the illicit drug trade, they have also seized 57.5 million fentanyl-laden pills and 13,740 pounds of powder this year alone. Furthermore, more than 57,500 pounds of cocaine were confiscated by authorities within the same timeframe.

Democrats argue that Republicans are indirectly aiding cartels through their refusal to cooperate with Biden's administration or actively calling for defunding federal law enforcement agencies such as ATF – which some even want abolished entirely.

On the other hand, President Biden is urging Congress to permanently classify fentanyl-related substances under Schedule I classification defined by DEA as "drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse." According to White House data provided earlier this year, approximately 70,000 Americans died from synthetic opioid overdoses in 2021 alone.

The new strategy targets major Mexican cartels like Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation. DEA Administrator Anne Milgram testified in February that these organizations are primarily responsible for much of the illicit fentanyl entering U.S borders.

Despite recent denials from both Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Chinese officials about any involvement in exacerbating America's current crisis surrounding opioids such as fentanyl; efforts continue at an international level toward finding solutions capable of addressing this growing problem effectively once-and-for-all.